Search Results For: Pramod Kumar (VP)


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DATE: January 13, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: January 23, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: 2014-15
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S. 17(2)(vi): (i) ESOP benefits granted to an assessee when he was resident and in consideration for services rendered in India is taxable even though the assessee is a non-resident in the year of exercise. S. 17(2)(vi) decides the timing of the income to be the year of exercise of the ESOPs but does not dilute or negate the fact that the benefit had arisen at the point of time when the ESOP rights were granted.

(ii) Article 15 of the India-UAE DTAA permits taxation of ESOP benefit, which is included in the scope of the expression "other similar remuneration" appearing immediately after the words "salaries and wages", in the jurisdiction in which the related employment is exercised. Thus, an assessee who gets ESOP benefits in respect of his service in U.A.E. and he exercises these options at a later point of time, say after returning to India and ceasing to be a non-resident, will still have the treaty protection of that income under article 15(1). Conversely, when the assessee gets the ESOP benefit on account of rendering services in India, he cannot have the benefit of article 15 in respect of the said income.

We find that so far as the ESOP benefit is concerned, while the income has arisen to the assessee in the current year, admittedly the related rights were granted to the assessee in 2007 and in consideration for the services which were rendered by the assessee prior to the rights being granted- which were rendered in India all along. The character of income may be inchoate at that stage but certainly what is being sought to be taxed now, on account of the specific provision under section 17(2)(vi), is a fruit of services rendered much earlier and the benefit, which has now become a taxable income, accrued to the assessee in 2007. All that section 17(2)(vi) decides is the timing of an income, but it does not dilute or negate the fact that the benefit, in which is being sought to be taxed, had arisen much earlier i.e. at the point of time when the ESOP rights were granted. On these facts, in our considered view, the income, even if it was inchoate at the point of time when the options were granted, has accrued and has arisen in India. The assessee is a non- resident in the current assessment year, but quite clearly, the benefit, in respect of which the income is bring sought to be taxed now, had arisen at an earlier point of time in India. Viewed thus, the income in respect of ESOP grant benefit accrued and had arisen at the point of time when the ESOP rights were granted, even though the taxability in respect of the same, on account of the specific legal provisions under section 17(2)(vi), has arisen in the present in this year.

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DATE: December 18, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 23, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2014-15
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The AO's refusal to grant foreign tax credit under article 23(2) of India Japan DTAA on the ground that the assessee's income (legal fees) was not taxable in Japan under Article 14 (Independent Personal Services) & that the taxes were wrongly withheld in Japan is not justified. The income could have been taxed under Article 12 (Fees for Technical Services). Even otherwise, one has to take a judicious call as to whether the view adopted by the source jurisdiction of taxing the income is a reasonable and bonafide view, which may or may not be the same as the legal position in the residence jurisdiction. The view of the treaty partner should be adopted unless it is wholly unreasonable or manifestly erroneous

So far as determination of question as to whether or not the taxation has been done in the source country “in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, may be taxed in … (the source jurisdiction)”, one has to take a judicious call as to whether the view so adopted by the source jurisdiction is a reasonable and bonafide view, which may or may not be the same as the legal position in the residence jurisdiction. While it is indeed desirable that there should be uniformity in tax treaty interpretation in the treaty partner jurisdictions, it may not always be possible to do so in view of a large variety of variations, such as the sovereignty of judicial systems, domestic law overrides on the treaty provisions, the legal framework in which the treaties are to be interpreted, and the judge-made law in the respective jurisdictions etc. In a situation in which a transaction by resident of one of the contracting states is to be examined in both the treaty partner jurisdictions, from the point of view of taxability of income arising therefrom, different treatments being given by the treaty partner jurisdictions will result in incongruity and undue hardship to the assessee.

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DATE: December 11, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 23, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2015-16
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(i) The fact that profits of foreign branches of a resident are taxed outside India under tax treaties does not imply that the said income is not taxable in India. The entire global income has to be taxed in India. The assesseee is entitled to credit for taxes paid abroad, as admissible under the treaty or the domestic law. (ii) S. 115JB applies to banking companies after the 2012 amendment. Even profits of foreign branches which are taxed under the tax treaties are also liable for MAT. (iii) The argument that S. 90 overrides S. 115JB and so the incomes taxed abroad should be excluded from taxation of book profits u/s 115 JB is not correct. Treaty protection come normally into play for taxation of a non-resident in India, i.e. source country taxation, and not for taxation of a resident in whose hands global income is to be taxed anyway. All that one gets in the residence jurisdiction, by the virtue of tax treaties, is tax credits for the taxes paid abroad.

The effect of Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgment in Kulandagan Chettiar (267 ITR 654) that income taxable in the source jurisdiction under the treaty provisions cannot be included in total income of the assessee is clearly overruled by the legislative developments. It is specifically legislated that the mere fact of taxability in the treaty partner jurisdiction will not take it out of the ambit of taxable income of an assessee in India and that “such income shall be included in his total income chargeable to tax in India in accordance with the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), and relief shall be granted in accordance with the method for elimination or avoidance of double taxation provided in such agreement”. A coordinate bench of this Tribunal, in the case of Essar Oil Ltd (supra) also proceeded to hold that this notification was retrospective in effect inasmuch as it applied with effect from 1st April 2004 i.e. the date on which sub-section 3 was introduced in Section 90.

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DATE: December 4, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 18, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2014-15
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(i) A representative office of a foreign enterprise is not a taxable unit. The foreign enterprise is the taxable unit. A return of income filed in the name of the representative office, with the PAN of the enterprise, offering only the income of the representative office & excluding the other Indian income of the enterprise is not proper. However, as the error is inadvertent and without any consequences in terms of loss of revenue, a pragmatic approach must be adopted and the assessee should not be subjected to avoidable inconvenience (ii) As regards the taxability of interest income under the India-Germany DTAA, as the debt claim in question was not "effectively connected" to the alleged PE, the exclusion article 11(5) was not triggered and the taxability under article 7 does not come into play (Entire law discussed in detail)

It is an undisputed fact that the entire related interest income has been brought to tax in the hands of the foreign enterprise, even though on gross basis under article 11. In case any income is brought to tax on account of ALP adjustment, and bearing in mind the fact that such an income will also be relatable to earning the same interest income, it will indeed result in a situation that for revenue of ‘x’ amount earned from India, what will become taxable in India will be an amount more than ‘x’ amount- something which is clearly incongruous. The taxable amount in a tax jurisdiction cannot, under any circumstances, be more than the entire revenue itself in that jurisdiction. In this view of the matter, even an income on account of ALP adjustment for free rendition of services by the Indian representative office to the foreign enterprise itself- even if that be treated as an associated enterprise and a hypothetically independent entity, in the cases of banks where entire interest revenues are taxed on gross basis, is ruled out.

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DATE: December 1, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 18, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2015-16
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Section 40(a)(i) is a restriction on deductibility of expenses u/s 30 to 38. If the related expenditure is not claimed as a deduction u/s 30 to 38, this disallowance cannot be pressed into service at all. As the assessee is an advertisement agency and advertisements are placed by the assessee on behalf of its clients, there is ordinarily no occasion to claim the costs of advertisements as deduction in computation of its business income. The revenues, in the case of advertisement agencies, consist of only the commission received in respect of the advertisements so placed

Unless a claim for deduction in respect of payments made to Facebook Ireland Limited is made in the computation of business income, there cannot be any occasion for invoking section 40(a)(i) for its disallowance in computation of business income. As we have analyzed earlier also in this order, section 40(a)(i) acts as a restriction on the deductibility of expenses under section 30 to 38, and, as a corollary to this legal position, when the related expenditure is not claimed as deduction under section 30 to 38, this disallowance cannot be pressed into service at all

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DATE: July 16, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 17, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2006-07
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S. 68 Black Money: The sum of Rs 196 crore held by HSBC Pvt Bank, Switzerland, in the name of Tharani Family Trust, of which the assessee was a beneficiary, is assessable as the undisclosed income of the assessee. The assessee is not a public personality like Mother Terresa that some unknown person, with complete anonymity, will settle a trust to give her US $ 4 million, and in any case, Cayman Islands is not known for philanthropists operating from there; if Cayman Islands is known for anything relevant, it is known for an atmosphere conducive to hiding unaccounted wealth and money laundering. HSBC Pvt Bank has also been indicted by several Governments worldwide and how it has even confessed to be being involved in money laundering (All imp judgements on preponderance of human probabilities and ground realities referred)

The assessee before us is closely involved with the transaction and it is inconceivable that the assessee will have no direct knowledge of the owners of the underlying company and settlors of the trust which has her, as she herself puts it, as beneficiary of such a huge amount. This inference is all the more justified when we take into account the fact that the assessee has been non-cooperative and has declined to sign the consent waiver. One of the arguments raised by the assessee that the assessee could not have performed the impossible act of signing consent waiver because she was not owner of the account is too naïve and frivolous to be even taken seriously. If the assessee was indeed not the owner of the account, there was all the more reason to sign the consent waiver form because it would have established that fact when the HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) Geneva was to decline the information on the basis of that consent waiver. A consent waiver signed by the assessee would have been infructuous in that case, and it could not have done any harm to the assessee. Consent waiver form does not prejudice the claim of the assessee that he does not own the account in question; all it does is, as can be seen from the extracts from consent waiver form format reproduced earlier, is that it waiver assessee‟s rights, if any, under the data protection and banking secrecy laws. The plea of the assessee, as noted earlier, is fit, if at all it is fit for anything, only to be rejected.

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DATE: June 17, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 27, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2011-12, 2012-13
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S. 254(2A): ITAT President to consider whether a Special Bench should be constituted to decide two very significant aspects relating to the powers of the ITAT to grant unconditional stay of demand after the amendment in first proviso to s. 254(2A) by the Finance Act 2020, namely, (i) The legal impact, if any, of the amendment on the powers of the Tribunal u/s 254(1) to grant stay; and, (ii) if the amendment is held to have any impact on the powers of the Tribunal u/s 254(1),- (a) whether the amendment is directory in nature or is mandatory in nature; (b) whether the said amendment affects the cases in which appeals were filed prior to the date on which the amendment came into force; (c) whether, with respect to the manner in which, and nature of which, security is to be offered by the assessee, under first proviso to s. 254(2A), what are broad considerations and in what reasonable manner, such a discretion must essentially be exercised, while granting the stay,by the Tribunal.

We are of the considered view that these issues are of vital importance to all the stakeholders all over the country, and in our considered understanding, on such important pan India issues of far reaching consequence, it is desirable to have the benefit of arguments from stakeholders in different part of the country. We are also mindful of the fact, as learned Departmental Representative so thoughtfully suggests, the issues coming up for consideration in these stay applications involve larger questions on which well considered call is required to be taken by the bench. Considering all these factors, we deem it fit and proper to refer the instant Stay Applications to the Hon’ble President of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal for consideration of constitution of a larger bench and to frame the questions for the consideration by such a larger bench, under section 255(3) of the Income Tax Act, 1961

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DATE: May 14, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 15, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2013-14
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Rule 34(5) of the ITAT Rules provides that “ordinarily” the order on an appeal should be pronounced within no more than 90 days from the date of concluding the hearing. A pedantic view of the rule cannot be taken. The period of 90 days should be computed by excluding at least the period during which the lockdown due to Covid-19 was in force. We must factor ground realities in mind while interpreting the time limit for the pronouncement of the order. Law is not brooding omnipotence in the sky. It is a pragmatic tool of the social order. The tenets of law being enacted on the basis of pragmatism, and that is how the law is required to interpreted

In the light of the above discussions, we are of the considered view that rather than taking a pedantic view of the rule requiring pronouncement of orders within 90 days, disregarding the important fact that the entire country was in lockdown, we should compute the period of 90 days by excluding at least the period during which the lockdown was in force. We must factor ground realities in mind while interpreting the time limit for the pronouncement of the order. Law is not brooding omnipotence in the sky. It is a pragmatic tool of the social order. The tenets of law being enacted on the basis of pragmatism, and that is how the law is required to interpreted. The interpretation so assigned by us is not only in consonance with the letter and spirit of rule 34(5) but is also a pragmatic approach at a time when a disaster, notified under the Disaster Management Act 2005, is causing unprecedented disruption in the functioning of our justice delivery system.

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DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2010-11
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As the physical office of the ITAT is not functioning due to the lockdown, the stay petition was heard through video conferencing, from home offices of the respective Members. Attachment of bank account lifted and stay against coercive recovery granted as all of us are traversing through one of the toughest patch of time, facing the Covid 19 pandemic, and the poorer sections of society are hardest hit. It is necessary for every employer company to take care of its employees. The assessee not in a position to perform these obligations in view of the attachment of its bank accounts and debtors

As all of us are traversing through one of the toughest patch of time, facing the Covid 19 pandemic, and the poorer sections of society are hardest hit. It is, therefore, all the more necessary for every employer company to take care of its employees. We find that in view of the attachment of asessee’s bank accounts and assessee’s debtors, the assessee is stated to be not in a position to perform these obligations. Given this situation, we are satisfied that this situation calls for our interference

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DATE: March 19, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 25, 2020 (Date of publication)
AY: 2015-16
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S. 5, 9 + DTAA: The payment by an Indian company to a foreign celebrity (Nicholas Cage) for an appearance by him in Dubai, UAE, in a product launch event for promoting the business of the assessee in India, is taxable as arising from a "business connection" and also under Article 23(1) of Inda-USA tax treaty (All imp judgements referred)

business models are constantly evolving, and as the rapid communication modes such as internet and social media have completely transformed the way businesses communicate, it is time that the law is seen in tandem with the ground realities of the business world, rather than in the strict confines of what was decided in the judicial precedents, in the context of a different business world when these ground realities did not exist. Today, virtual and intangible business connections are perhaps far more critical, important and commonplace than the conventional brick and mortar business connections half a century ago, and, therefore, to disregard these business connections as a real and intimate business connection leading to earning of income by the non-residents, only because Hon’ble Courts, while delivering judgments several decades ago, could not visualize the same and hedge their observations about such possibilities, will certainly be travesty of justice.